The Archery Association of India (AAI) is expected to continue to remain in the ‘errant list’ of the sports ministry for some more time.
While all other National Sports Federations (NSFs) – numbering around 50 – have agreed to follow the guidelines as per the National Sports Code on age and tenure, AAI continues to dither.
And, with the government now set to review the National Sports Code -- making it more stringent in the wake of the Justice RM Lodha Committee recommendation on the Indian cricket board --- veteran sports administrator Vijay Kumar Malhotra (the former AAI president for more than four decade) might lose his dominance over the national body.
Sports minister Vijay Goel is confident the review of the Sports Code will bring a lot of changes. “The government respects autonomy of the federations, but at the same time, we want them to be accountable and transparent in their functioning. It’s all part of good governance.”
The minister also hinted that the recommendations might bring in structural changes at the state and district level.”The age and tenure cap might be applied to officials of the national, state and district units,” he said.
When Malhotra stepped down in 2015 to take charge of the All India Council of Sports, instead of holding elections to the post of AAI president, the association’s vice-president Tarlochan Singh, who is above 70, became acting president.
Since AAI is being run by an ad-hoc body, Tarlochan could not conduct the 2016 national ranking championship at Chennai in December and hasn’t yet announced the dates for the senior nationals. The government also didn’t grant AAI permission to conduct the Asia Stage-I competition that was supposed to start in Delhi on Tuesday.
Tarlochan conceded that the ministry didn’t give AAI permission to host the international tournament as the body continued to remain derecognised. Despite this, the association has been postponing elections, due since November.
The Delhi High Court has also directed AAI to conduct elections before March 31. Tarlochan told HT the AAI is planning to amend its constitution and then hold elections. “We will have a new constitution and then hold elections.”
However, Tarlochan will not be able to contest the elections as he is already over 70. To this the veteran sports administrator said, “I am just a caretaker and not hoping to remain in president’s seat.”